There are many pictures of the Holy Spirit, but I’ve never seen one of him bouncing about like a puppy, gleefully springing around to get people to play with him. But that’s what it feels like on the Messy scene in Liverpool. There is so much going on and it’s so vibrant and full of life! The latest event was a Messy Forum for Messy Church leaders, organised by Jane Leadbetter, the regional coordinator for Liverpool and Liverpool Diocesan Children’s Adviser, and David Bell, the Diocesan Children’s Adviser for Chester Diocese.
But I was shocked to read in Jane’s email that only three of the 20 Messy Churches get a budget. What’s going on here, church leaders, councils and PCCs? Are you expecting mission to happen on thin air? There’s plenty of evidence by now that this form of church is giving families a chance to enjoy church, is bringing in people who would never otherwise set foot in a church: should the ‘established’ church not be pouring out all it can afford in prayer and money to support it? Bring on the budgets! Bring on the prayer warriors! Families are worth it!
Here are edited highlights from Jane’s email:
‘There were 65 happy folk at our Liverpool and Chester Messy Forum on Saturday, sharing stories, concerns, having a go at Infinite Crafts and demanding another one next year.
‘Three of us have swapped emails as we are Messy Churches with over 100 attending and need help and support. One is Catherine who had to turn people away when 200 turned up! I have discovered that another secular school has just started a Messy Church as the head requested a church plant!
‘Rev Sally Ratcliffe at a Methodist Church in Warrington has a Sticky Church and now started a deeper thingy called Sticky Questions (home-written course).
‘Another Messy Church has started a START course with a few going, which has led to confirmations.
‘One Messy Church charges, otherwise they all ask for donations but don’t get enough. Only three out of approx 20 Messy Churches get a budget.
‘I asked them all to register on the Messy Church website.
‘Discipleship ideas which came up: a messy board with Post-its for prayers, comments, questions; strong Gospel message at messy message time; messy questions in a pub; L19: Messy Church has now a chaplain role; train crafters to invite informal conversations.